The tragedy is not the loss of federal funding or that of an outside and unknown (to local citizens) agency operating a program that has existed for nearly 50 years in Prince George’s County Schools. It is the uncalculatable loss of academic opportunities for Black and Brown children of Prince George’s County, Maryland. The loss of benefits afforded to children exposed to a quality early education are at risk of evaporating for the 900 children enrolled in the Head Start program.
These most vulnerable children will start school at a distinct disadvantage and therefore will have a bigger gap to jump for academic success. Given what is at stake, can anyone blame parents, their communities, school employees, and community/civic leaders for their outrage? Children were abused and neglected at the hands of staff and will be brought to justice according to Prince George’s County Schools leadership. Now the question is who will be held accountable for the endangerment of 900 of the county’s most vulnerable children?
Perhaps the loss of a quality Head Start is of no concerns for the powers that be, but for a moment just allow yourself to image, what if their actions deprived the world of the next Hadiyah-Nicole Green, Donna Y Ford, Brian White, Roland Martin, Brandise Marshall, and many others? Are we willing to accept this risk to the future of so many? This tragedy runs deep.